Shave me a Song…

Actors Aloysius Gigl and Gretchen Rumbaugh portraying Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.  Photo Courtesy of Portland Center Stage

Last night, I had the great privilege to attend the performance of Sweeney Todd at Portland Center Stage (PCS) at the old armory.  I had the great fortune to meet two of the cast members in from New York while having dinner at Abby’s Table last month. Abby’s offers a wonderful family style setting where conversation with strangers is bound to turn them into friends, at least for the evening.  I discovered I was sitting with the “Beggar Woman” (Michele Ragusa) and “The Beadle” (Martin C. Hurt) and they were most pleasant company!  They decided I would have to see the show, and boy am I glad that I agreed.  It has been at least two years since I last saw a musical production, and this served as a pleasant reminder of how much I adore musical theater.

Sweeney Todd is not a lighthearted, happy-go-lucky, singin’ on the plain, man falls in love with woman in a country town musical.  I had no background information on the story or what to expect, and it is a startlingly dark perusal of the evil acts man can commit, yet somehow full of humor and sporadic hilarity.  The music and singing were brilliant; the cast and crew put on a fantastic show.  I highly recommend you attend one of the last performances if you have time this weekend: there are still seats available and two showings Saturday and Sunday!

Only once have I taken the opportunity to participate in a show – my high school junior year experience in The Music Man.  I had small parts (yes parts, plural: not lead, but chorus, dancer, etc), and I enjoyed every moment.  After Thursday’s show at PCS, I am inspired.  Perhaps, one day, I will be able to take the stage and help a girl in the audience like me, to be reminded of what brings her joy, and she, too, may finally take action on her dreams.


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